Homemade Bao Game Part 1


Bao is a complex Mancala game popular in Tanzania. I have been looking for a Bao board for some time now , and have not found any that are in my budget. So my solution is to make my own. This is a work progress and I hope it encourages you to try building a Bao or Mancala board of your own.

Bao boards are usually hand carved from a single piece of wood, but I thought I would make mine a little different. What I have done cut a 1/4 inch piece of plywood in to a 10 inch by 22 inch rectangle. Then I drew lines with pencil where I wanted the holes to be. Afterward I used a hole saw attached to a drill to cut 2 inch holes in the plywood. The two square holes were cut out using a jigsaw.

The next steps are to sand the wood smooth and glue the board on to another piece wood that will make it’s base. Then I can decide how to decorate it, and what to use for the beads.

I will post more pictures of the board is it moves closer to completion. If you have any thoughts or experiences on making game boards or playing Bao please post them in the comments.

For everyone who is interested in seeing how Bao is played here is a link to a youtube video of some games played on a tradional board.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s